In a virtual media briefing with African journalists on 28 November, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said his country will send ships ... with wheat at zero cost to recipient African states to alleviate the acute food crisis. Is this an effort by Kyiv to encourage more support against Russia?
Biden, in a statement, said he hopes the meeting will demonstrate US commitment to Africa, “the importance of US-Africa relations and increased cooperation on shared global priorities”.
As President Biden struggles to push his climate change agenda past his own congress, his administration has put $1.3bn into an aid package for Horn of Africa countries struggling with a severe drought.
US Vice President Kamala Harris, in a virtual address from Washington to a US-Africa business conference in Marrakesh, Morocco, echoed the announcement.
Many see the growing US engagement in the continent having a security edge – confronting growing Chinese influence – but a US official told Reuters that Washington is “not asking African partners to choose”.
A subterranean struggle to control mining assets continues in the DRC between the US and China, with minerals critical in the batteries powering the green industrial revolution.
The Biden administration has certainly displayed more engagement over recent months – not least in their attention to trying to fill appointments.
In Mike Hammer (former US Ambassador to the DRC), the State Department has tapped a blunt but gregarious diplomat to try to defuse a series of crises in East Africa, starting with the lingering conflict in Ethiopia.
The US has been continuing its outreach to the continent in the post-Trump era, where relations were focused more on visa bans than partnership.
The US and the African Union (AU) held their first high-level summit since the Covid-19 pandemic in March, with the conflicts in Ukraine and Ethiopia looming over the gathering.
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